What Is Love?

What is Love?Every time I have a conversation with my mother-in-law about love and the nature of love, I come away astounded. For some reason, she thinks that she is not a loving person because she is not affectionate (eg: she doesn’t hug, kiss, or whatever) and doesn’t really think of the kids too much or worry about them when she’s not here.

She claims she is a cold person because she is not like my mother, nor is she like the grandmothers and mothers on television.

Each time she says that, I respond with, “You know that television isn’t real, right?”

I know. I’m an ass.

It pains me to hear my MIL tear herself down this way. Not because I’m such a great daughter-in-law (I’m not. I’m utterly terrible.), but because it’s such a lie!! Despite what she thinks, my MIL is a very loving and kind person. For example:

1) She dutifully attends birthday parties, etc. even though she HATES dealing with people and strangers. She is very self-conscious and absolutely CANNOT STAND being at the parties – but she comes anyway. After a few years of this torture, I’ve finally relented and have ceased to force her to attend. We end up having a smaller, family party that includes her, and have a bigger party for ME. (Let’s face it, it’s not really for the kids.)

2) She goes out of her way to come visit us from LA every few months or so. I mentioned how she hates being in public, right? She also has a veritable menagerie at her house and it’s difficult for her to be away that long from all her pets. This is a BIG DEAL.

3) Every time she comes up, she brings a small little toy for my kids. I used to hate the toys she would bring. (Mostly because they were all made in China and you know, the toys would likely be radioactive or full of lead or something.) But I got over it when I realized every single toy she has brought is always the toy that all the kids who come over to our house fight over. ALWAYS. She is the toy whisperer.

4) Every time she comes, she plays with the kids, tells them stories, brings them stickers, and the kids adore her and adore playing with her. She walks with them to the park, shows an interest in their lives, and is generally present.

My MIL says that because she is not physically or vocally affectionate with the children and isn’t exactly like my mother, that she’s a bad grandmother. But that is so stupid because no one is asking her to be MY mother. We’re asking her to be present with my kids – and she IS. I try to explain to her that I don’t care about what she says or hugs, etc. It’s what she DOES that is most important. It’s her TIME with the kids that is conveying love to my children – and vicariously, to me.

You see, on the outside, my father seemed to be a very loving person. He was effusive in affection, always hugging, kissing, holding hands, calling me (and my mother) his sweetheart, his love, his precious. He bought presents – sometimes very lavish, and threw big romantic gestures.

All the while, he was unfaithful to my mother multiple times with various women. He abandoned our entire family for years at a time. He stole and lied and physically threatened our family. He robbed my uncle and my cousins of their inheritance (not to mention my brother and I).

He paraded his most recent mistress in China around to his family, telling them she was his new wife (he was still married to my mother), claimed God blessed him with another son (did I mention he was still married to my mother?), and tried to convert his family to “follow Jesus” and become Christian. (I find that the MOST foul.)

Despite his many proclamations of “love,” I had never felt more unlovable in all my life.

This is why I don’t care about flowers or gifts or romance. I mean, it’s nice. I’m not stupid. But to me, I find most of these gestures meaningless. I far prefer my boring, day to day love with Hapa Papa. I know we mock each other all the time and pretend we don’t want to spend time with one another. (Ok, that’s not so much pretend, but it’s not unpleasant to spend time with him.)

But ultimately, I know, deep in my cold, dark heart, that Hapa Papa is utterly devoted to me and the kids and the rest of his family (including my own). I know, because every day, he proclaims it in all the tedious minutiae of working, washing dishes, and taking care of the kids. Every day, he is present and HERE, sacrificing his time and energy for us.

Do you know that Hapa Papa has no free time for himself? He is always working or with the kids. His free time is his daily 2-3 hour round-trip commute. Even though he loves sports and would love to watch all the various games on TV, when he comes home, he focuses on the kids and plays with them, gives them a bath, reads them stories, and puts them to bed – even during playoffs. After which, he does more work.

His two indulgences? Sports stats and watching Suits (of which there are only thirteen 1 hour episodes a year).

Even when I give him free time to do whatever he wants, he usually naps or gets a haircut. (See, I’m not entirely cruel.) Every now and then, he hangs out with his friends. Sometimes, I practically have to force him to get out of the house.

I think he’s crazy. I practically beg to go out and play with my friends or spend hours reading books without any thought at all.

He never complains.

Now, I realize that just because someone doesn’t have a life doesn’t mean it’s love. Nor does having a life mean it’s not love. My main point is that love is not so much the sweet words and romantic gestures. Love is time served and hard work. You know, like prison. But a prison made of love.

And now, your earworm for the day. (How is that for a segue?) You know it was already in your head just from reading the title. You’re welcome.

Rainbows and Genocide

‘Cuz God is a killer from the start
Why you think Noah had to build his ark?

Heaven, Ice Cube

Everything I ever learned in Sunday School about Noah’s Ark involved cute little animals marching up the plank onto a giant boat. Oh, and of course, 40 days of rain, rain, rain and crows and doves and olive branches. And rainbows. Pretty, pretty rainbows. And perhaps some passing mention of flooding the world to the point where everyone died except for eight people stuck on a boat.

Wait, what?!

God kills almost every person on the planet (not to mention all the animals and plants) and we Christians teach it to kids with catchy songs because it has cute fluffy animals and boats and stuff?

I find that really inappropriate.

In a related vein, my kids’ Sunday School teachers are going to hate me.

It doesn’t bother me that everyone dies by God’s hand. It bothers me because we gloss over hard parts of the Bible, Disney-fy a Grimm story, and put a pretty bow on it with a nice banal song to boot. Maybe even add a talking animal friend.

Basically, we lie to our children about God and His story and one day, they’re going to read the Bible for themselves and hit Noah’s Ark and say, “What the flying fuck is this?”

And not just Noah’s Ark. The Bible is page after page of completely messed up stories and people that challenge us and make no sense sometimes, and often bring up more questions than answers about God and His infinite mercy and wisdom.

Don’t think the Bible is that edited when we teach our kids? How about the raping of Dinah and her brothers killing all the men of the offending tribe when they are recovering from circumcision? Or David committing murder so he can cover up adultery and knocking up someone else’s wife? Or God commanding the Israelites to kill all the people – women and children included – in their skirmishes as they invade another people’s land to turn into their own? Or the tenth plague of Egypt where the Angel of Death kills every single first born – including babies and toddlers (which I have a huge problem with)? Or when Abraham whores out his wife, Sarah, to various kings because he is too cowardly to claim her as his wife?

I mean, this barely scratches the first few books of the Old Testament! You could say, “But that’s the Old Testament! God was different and full of wrath!” To which I reply, “Oh, God changes personality then? He is inconstant and schizophrenic? That’s comforting.”

But let’s say you’re right. What about the cozy, heartwarming stories from the New Testament? Like when the lovely baby Jesus is born and King Herod massacres all Jewish baby boys under two or three? (Kinda like with Moses.) Or that delightful, kid-friendly crucifixion – the basis of the Christian faith? Or John the Baptist’s head on a platter because King Herod lusted after his grand-niece/step-daughter (let’s not even get into the incest!)? Or Ananias and Sapphira being struck dead on the spot for lying about how much money they got for a plot of land?

We Christians give our kids such sanitized Bible stories that when they inevitably find out the truth by actually reading the Bible, our kids are totally unprepared for the brutality and hard questions these stories raise. At best they will think the Bible has no relevance to the real world and at worst, they will think the Bible a pack of lies. We rob the Bible of any teeth and power by serving it diluted. We do an immense disservice to our children when we “clean up” and serve God and the story of His people in palatable bites.

The Bible is NOT palatable. The Bible is not easy. The Bible is not safe.

The reason, of course, is that God is not palatable, easy, or safe.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver […] “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis [emphasis mine]

Why are we so afraid of teaching our kids the unedited stories of the Bible? Is it because we secretly don’t believe that God is good? Or that God is big enough to handle our questions and doubts? Or maybe we are too lazy to think about these things at all? Because if we did think about what the Bible actually says about gossip, the poor, money, and grace, we would actually have to change our way of life?

I realize no parent in their right mind wants to discuss after Sunday School why it seems okay for God to kill babies or what adultery means. But that’s our job as parents. I don’t want to talk about drugs or sex or race with my kids, either, but I will because that is my job as a parent. To frame and put hard things in context. To equip my kids the best way I know how even if eventually they decide that my values and faith will not be their values and faith.

For me, that is the hardest thing. To trust that God will take care of my family and kids even if they reject everything I teach them. That even if I do everything “right,” there is no guarantee of safety or shelter from suffering. That life is like the stories in the Bible: messy, complicated, and sometimes, really screwed up.

Yes, life has beautiful and grand moments. It’s easy to think God is good then. But as we all know and experience, life is not always lovely and wonderful.

If we only cherry pick the good parts of the Bible and God, how will our children know to cleave to God when life spirals into the grimiest shit? How will they respond to the seeming disconnect between “God is good” and the world they see with their own eyes?

This is why I get so mad about Sunday School stories as they currently are. They paint a lie of the world – that if we just believe in God, everything will be shiny and full of ponies! That God makes everything better and rewards good little children. That only pillars of faith make it in the Bible – not real humans.

But that’s NOT TRUE. It is a lie.

The truth is, “[God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45, NIV) That no matter how faithful you are, sometimes, prayer doesn’t work out the way we want and families split up or friends die of cancer. That despite all our good intentions, babies starve, women are raped, and children are sexually enslaved.

It is a fallen and broken world in which we live. The same fallen and broken world in which the Bible and its characters and the story of God’s people take place. I’m not saying that Sunday School should be a depressing experience, but it should at least sometimes reflect reality and not a Pollyanna view of the world. Sunday School should be a safe place for equipping our children to examine and question what the people do (as well as how God responds) in the Bible. Sunday School should not only be a place for our kids to learn about the Bible, but to learn how to grapple with the tension between the hope and promise of a new kingdom, and the temporary reality of pain and suffering in this world.

This sounds great in theory, but I have no idea how to implement this with my own children. They are young, yet. Plus, I doubt I will ever find this type of Sunday School while my kids are still eligible to attend. *sigh*

What do you do with your kids? How do you explain suffering and hope in an age-appropriate manner? For that matter, how do you approach religion and faith in your family? Let me know in the comments. I’m looking for ideas I can blatantly steal. 🙂 Cheer me up, please!

Creating the Family I Always Wanted

I can remember the exact moment when I decided I wanted four kids. Up until that moment, I had always assumed I’d have two kids, a girl then a boy, about four years apart. (Funny how that is exactly the order in my family. What can I say? I lack imagination.)

It was June 2006 and I was in Taiwan for a family friend’s wedding. I was at my Second Aunt’s house, which was at the end of a cul-de-sac and directly across the street from my First Aunt’s house. A bunch of my cousins happened to be home and just between us cousins, we were already a small gang. (I have twelve cousins on my mother’s side and only two much younger cousins (like a whole generation younger) on my father’s side.) We were going out to see Superman Returns and I realized we had about six people going – and it was all family.

I suddenly had a pang of such sadness. Because I grew up in CA and they grew up in Taiwan, I missed out on so many family activities. I’d only seen my maternal grandparents less than ten times in my entire life. I felt as if a huge, integral part of my life had been stolen from me and I realized that my family had been so alone and lonely.

My paternal cousins were in Texas and I think I saw them twice in my life at that point. Plus, they were babies at the time. Not really that exciting. My paternal uncle visited us only twice that I remember (all before 1989) because he and my father had a falling out. My paternal grandparents, although they were with us a lot when I was younger, also stopped visiting and stayed in Texas. I rarely visited them.

Basically, the only family I had in CA was my maternal grand-aunt, my mother, and myself. My brother was on the East Coast and my dad was who-knows-where in China. I felt adrift and cut off from my family – no real knowledge of either side’s history and stories.

Right then and there, I knew I wanted four kids. That way, even if all our family was in another state or country, they would at least have each other. They would be an automatic party of four wherever they chose to go together. It would be beautiful and they would love each other and never fight and live down the street from one another. Plus, at least one out of the four kids would take care of me in my old age, right? RIGHT?!

Anyhow, I know in reality, there will be hardships due to a large family (least of which is affording all of these children and their activities, etc.) but I KNOW it will be worth it. I see my family as a way to redeem all the lousy suffering I went through as a child in a broken home with a violent and inconstant father. Thank God Hapa Papa is in no way violent, always faithful, and a wonderful father.

Now obviously, creating a family is more than just birthing lots of babies. (If only it were that easy!) I try VERY hard to make sure that even though our family is spread out all over the world, that we make connections anyway.

Since Hapa Papa’s family is in LA, we try to take a big week long trip to LA every year so his brother and sister can see the kids. We fly up my mother-in-law at least once every 2-3 months so she can get to know the children – which is a big deal since she can sometimes be a recluse. (They LOVE her. She always brings the BEST toys.)

Even though my brother is in DC, we have promised to see each other at least twice a year. They’ll fly out here once and we’ll fly out there once. Of course, there are tons of pictures and videos flying back and forth in the wireless phone ether. My kids LOVE my nephew and talk about him all the time.

My grand-aunt comes over to help babysit when I have doctor appointments and is present at parties and family events. And of course, there is my mother who comes over almost every weekday to play with the kids. She is the most constant person in their lives other than Hapa Papa and I.

As for my paternal cousins, they adore the kiddos from pictures on Facebook and have been so vital in re-connecting our families with their unbridled love and enthusiasm. And speaking of Facebook, that has connected us more to Hapa Papa’s family in Hawaii as well. We even have found out that his cousin lives in SF so we get to see them every now and then, too!

Finally, because the majority of my maternal family is in Taiwan, I am attempting to visit Taiwan every two years or so – or at least, every time I have a new baby. My grandfather is still alive – and I very much want him to meet the kids more than once. He’s in great health, but you never know.

This is all just a rambling way to say that it’s not so much having the babies that is important to me – it is the closer family feeling that I’m trying to capture. I know not all families are close and happy like they show on TV and Hallmark ads, but if I can get my family to look a little more like this happy fiction, then I will have done my job.

I want my kids to feel connected to people other than themselves in this world. That there is a whole web of people they are related to – and that anywhere they go, they have that net to fall back into. Now, I just need to see if there’s a way to connect to Hapa Papa’s family from Ohio. 😀

What about you? How do you go about creating a close family?

Welcome to the World!

20130816-174447.jpg

Welcome to the world, Baby3!! Mommy is going to wait a few weeks/months to figure out your alias on Mandarin Mama, but rest assured, we’ll make sure it’s appropriate to your personality.

I know most people care about stats so here are the pertinent details:

8lbs 1oz
19.5 in long
13.75 in head
100% awesomeness
100% cutesiness
100% wantedness

Prior to Baby3, I never understood how some women would want their babies out sooner than later. After all, babies are much easier to care for inside than out. I wish to apologize to you all.

Even though all three of my pregnancies have been exceedingly easy and without complication (and never past 39 weeks), I had been increasingly uncomfortable – more so than I recall for my other two. I was quite ready to be done, thank you!

Plus, I admit, the hugely petty side of me wanted to prove my mother wrong. (She declared that Baby3 would make it to Induction Monday at 39 weeks despite all evidence pointing to the contrary). Yes, I am an ass. Of monumental proportions. But what matters most is that I was right. 😉

What I find so embarrassing is that despite this being my third baby, I was STILL totally clueless about labor. Sigh. The last time I’d gone into labor was 3.5+ years ago with Cookie Monster at 39 weeks and my water never broke. I got an epidural and had a textbook labor until I couldn’t push him out after 2.5 hours of pushing. Then even after vacuuming three times, he was still stuck. So it was an emergency C-section for me!

For Gamera, I wanted to get a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) since I was planning on having four kids. I did NOT want to be sliced open four times! I switched OBs and was induced at 39 weeks and never felt any pain because I got an epidural almost immediately after induction. I pushed for about 15-20 minutes but she also got stuck (she was facing up) and my OB yelled, “Clear the hallway!” as he was suiting up. However, after vacuuming three times, he decided to try once more and Gamera turned and slid out, perfect and slimy.

For Baby3, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to have another successful VBAC because he was a boy and likely to be bigger than Gamera. Since both kids got stuck at 39 weeks, I was going to be induced at 39 weeks again instead of letting nature take its course. But I was convinced he was going to come early – and I admit, I tried to get him out. I went for a pedicure, a massage, and finally, I went to the happiest place on earth with my two kids by myself. Costco! There, I lifted heavy things and walked as much as I could.

Turns out Costco did the trick. My water broke that evening at 5:45 and after a few hours (hey, I had to finish packing, get my kids dinner, and wait for my mom to show up) we finally arrived at the hospital. I wasn’t feeling any of my contractions so that helped a lot. Then, even though I got an epidural, I guess it wasn’t amped up enough because it still hurt like a mother. Thank God for drugs because I can only imagine more pain! *shudder*

Anyhow, I pushed about 10-15 minutes and again, Baby3 was facing up. My OB turned him face down and a few more pushes and out he came! It was so cool to see the doctor pull him out of me! (I didn’t get to see that for my other two.) Apparently, love at first sight can happen three times in a row. 🙂

I have always been very lucky in the breastfeeding department and Baby3 is no exception. Although no one told me until this baby that nursing the third kid, you may think you’re going through labor again because holy fuck the cramping is so bad. :/ Apparently the uterus is so stretched out it takes more work to get back to normal. So it hurts a lot. But there are also drugs for that if you should so choose.

Also, VBACs are awesome. I thought so last time and still think so this time. While I am exceedingly grateful for the C-section with my first, I was on pain meds for at least six weeks and didn’t leave the house for four months. (Ok, that might’ve been more due to my laziness and general new mom overwhelmedness.) My scar hurt and ached for almost eighteen months afterward.

Recovery from a VBAC is amazing. Obviously, there are tears and aches, but far less lochia (bleeding) and infinitely less pain. Plus, poop resumes on schedule a ton quicker! If you are considering a VBAC, I highly recommend it. Do your research, obviously, and YMMV, but I can’t say enough great things about it.

Anyhow, I’m sure that was more than enough TMI for now. If you are considering a VBAC or have any questions about one, feel free to ask and I’d be happy to answer in detail.

Thanks for reading, folks! It’s been a wonderful few days getting used to a newborn again. (They sure cry a lot! Why can’t they just tell me what they want again? Oh right. They can’t talk.) Have a beautiful day!

“If I Eat All My Fries, Can I Have a Cookie?”

They say to never negotiate with terrorists. Real terrorists (of the hostage taking kind) are likely something that I will never experience in life except through the news and movies/TV. However, I never realized that in my house, I actually have two (soon to be three) terrorists of the home-grown kind. That’s right, people. I have been unwittingly aiding and abetting two extremely cute, but also, manipulative toddlers who are now, thanks to my inept parenting, master negotiators.

It all started innocently enough. “If you do X, then you’ll get Y” types of conversations would occur on an almost daily basis. Especially when it came to consequences of not cleaning up or obeying or whatever and the consequence would be a time out. Sometimes, Cookie Monster would say, “One more!” for things he wanted, but that was adorable and usually, I gave in because it was no big deal.

As my kids got more difficult with eating, I started to say, “If you eat your dinner, then you will get dessert. If you don’t eat dinner, then you won’t get dessert.” Perfectly reasonable expectations, right? (Also, in retrospect, I feel as if I should turn in my Chinese card because really, when I was growing up, if I didn’t finish my food, my parents would keep serving it up for all my meals until I finished it. My mother once found me asleep in the high chair with my mouth still full of food. On top of that, there was never any dessert.)

Then one day, “If I eat all my fries, can I have a cookie?” came out of Cookie Monster’s mouth.

By this time, I had been so inured to my children’s constant bargaining that I didn’t bat an eyelash. “Hmmm? What? Yes, Cookie Monster, you can have a cookie if you eat your fries,” I replied.

Hapa Papa, however, was aghast. “Did he just negotiate to eat cookies if he ate his healthy lunch of fries? Like, that’s his reward for eating FRIES?” he asked.

And just like that, I snapped out of it. First, we both couldn’t stop laughing because the situation was ludicrous. Second, I got sad because I was such a failure of a mother at mealtimes. (We often have fries for lunch on at least a bi-weekly basis. They get smoothies with the fries, though! That’s kinda healthy, yeah?) Third, we admired Cookie Monster’s negotiating abilities. That’s really all we have to look forward to – our children’s excellent killer instincts at gaining the upper hand.

Of course, even with copious bribery, mealtimes can often be a battle. A few weeks ago, I made dinner and although Gamera was a good girl and ate all her dinner for her promised ice cream (which she totally forgot about, but I still forced her to eat it because I want her to know I keep promises), Cookie Monster was NOT cooperative in any way, shape, or form.

The funny thing was, he was such a good boy all day. But by dinner time, I guess all the good behavior got used up. Blergh. Every time I shoved a mouthful of dinner into his mouth, he would gag. On purpose. For no reason other than to be a punk. It would take him over ten minutes to chew and swallow that one tiny mouthful. After an hour of forcing him to eat, him gagging on the regular, several time outs, he had one more bite before he got a fruit bar as dessert. And then, he proceed to barf up everything he just ate all over himself, the chair, and the floor.

He looked miserable. I honestly don’t think he realized that gagging would induce barfing. Well, I hope he knows it now. (Sometimes, he doesn’t really learn from experience.) And because he is a clean freak, he was super upset that his hands, his clothes, basically his entire body, was covered in vomit. We try not to yell or make our kids feel bad – even when they vomit on purpose because really, barfing in general is bad enough. Then to be yelled at for doing so just compounds the pain. So, we promptly stripped him and started to clean up. Of course, I had to break the news that if his tummy didn’t feel good and he barfed, then he clearly couldn’t eat his fruit bar. He cried. I felt bad, but not really. I mean, he barfed on purpose.

I’m still not sure if I did the right thing by forcing dinner down his throat. I could’ve just said, “Fine!” and let him not eat dinner and then be hungry. After all, the result was the same. 🙁

Clearly, I have to re-think my meal time strategies. Blargh.

Nothing Brings Out Hulk Smash Like Bedtime

I used to think I was a reasonable person. (I’ll pause here as pretty much every one who has ever known me cackles in laughter and shakes their head sadly at my delusions – especially Hapa Papa.) I mean, I knew I had a temper (but dammit, I was justified!!) so when I had Cookie Monster, I made a supreme effort to never yell at him or around him. Well, the yelling around him went out the window as Hapa Papa and I adjusted to caring for a small, tiny person and a flood of hormones released their evil doings upon my normally well-adjusted person.

But the yelling at Cookie Monster – I was really awesome at that until he was about 18 months old and I was pregnant with Gamera. Then, I admit, I would yell at Cookie Monster when I was frustrated or tired. Alas, poor Gamera never had a chance to know a calm, non-yelling Mommy. (Granted, that image was a false skin anyway, but that’s not the point.) Now that I am about to imminently deliver Baby3 (still trying to think of a good nickname), my patience is worn thin (as if it were ever thick), and I’m just trying to get through the day (with lots of help from our lovely friends, iPad, iPhone, and TV).

This is all just a roundabout way of saying that I have been yelling a LOT lately and I am not proud of myself for doing so.

However, nothing brings out the yelling and exasperation like bedtime. In a related vein, nothing helps the kids drift off into a lovely, peaceful slumber quite like Mommy Hulking Out. *sigh*

The sad thing is, it’s not like I’m surprised by what goes on at bedtime. I mean, we’ve been going through this for years now, right? I should be better at this? Or more prepared? But no. I am not.

Of course, the kids are going to stall and play and be silly before bed. They don’t want to sleep! They want to play with Mommy and Papa and roll around and be near us. So why do I get so mad when they crawl out of their beds, giggling at their naughtiness and saying they need water or have to pee or poo or need another stuffed animal or have their blankets fixed? I know it takes AT LEAST half an hour for them to settle down and finally fall asleep. SO WHY DO I YELL AND SCREAM?

Mostly, it’s because I’m this close to freedom for the night. This close to staying up too late watching TV or reading or eating or playing Sudoku or something really vital to my sanity. And who is IN THE WAY of this awesome TV watching and snacking and reading? My adorably tired-but-they-don’t-know-it-yet children.

I’ve read a lot of the books on bedtimes so I’m not really looking for advice on putting kids to bed. More that this is a reminder to me to not be such a jackass at night. To not always yell at them. It’s sad to me that Cookie Monster will ask me multiple times at night, “Are you mad, Mommy? Are you happy?”

I feel such shame.

As such, I have been willfully trying not to yell at night. Sure, the occasional frustrated “GO TO SLEEP!!!” or “GET INTO BED, NOW!!!” will fly from my lips at least once a night, but it’s getting better.

I have found that sometimes, I will just close the door to their room and they will cry and scream and then after a few minutes, I will open the door and then tuck them in and because Gamera just spent all that energy screaming and Cookie Monster will have either tried to comfort his sister or will be in bed pretending to be asleep in order to kiss ass, the kids will fall asleep pretty quickly after.

I have also found that just NOT saying ANYTHING AT ALL also helps. (Because let’s face it, if I opened my mouth a string of expletives or THINGS THAT I WILL REGRET INSTANTANEOUSLY will unspool from my unruly tongue. It’s just better to not open my mouth AT ALL.) Usually, when I’m uncharacteristically silent, Cookie Monster will ask me if I’m happy and I melt and then say, “I’m happy, sweetheart. I love you.” and put them back to bed nicely. (Or at least, not so roughly.)

The last week or so has been better than I expected, but I still have MUCH room for improvement. I’m trying to wean the kids off of needing us so much while they fall asleep (I usually sit outside their door because if I don’t, then I have to walk from my room to their room to put them back in). Especially since it will be so much harder when Baby3 comes.

I just tell myself that Baby3 will not hear Mommy yell for at least a month or two, right? RIGHT?

*sigh* I am so delusional. *whimpers*

Fakebooking

In the past few months, I’ve seen several articles on The Huffington Post (which, let’s face it, has some quality control issues and is supremely left-leaning, but for the most part, I like their stuff) about the problem of “Fakebooking,” or presenting your life on Facebook in such a way as not to reflect reality and make other people feel bad.

The other day, a friend of mine posted an article on Facebook titled, We Need to Quit Telling Lies on Facebook, (she’s not the author of the piece) and I had enough. When I complained to Hapa Papa about the topic, he replied, “Stop. This is just too stupid. I don’t want to hear any more. People are idiots.”

Now, of course, please don’t think that I think you’re an idiot if you happen to fall prey to “Fakebooking” and its assorted ailments of envy, coveting, and feeling bad about yourself. (I may privately think you’re an idiot for other reasons, but not this reason.) In general, I think that’s symptomatic of being human and just seeing the surface of what other people want to project. I totally understand. Furthermore, I fall into this occasionally as well. Who hasn’t after seeing a particularly awesome picture of scrumptious food? Or happy, clean children? Or a beautiful beach view?

But seriously? Multiple articles on the subject? It’s a new thing now? How fucking stupid.

Who really looks at someone’s Facebook statuses and thinks that is an accurate depiction of a person’s life? I mean, the site is called Facebook. Like, saving face or putting on your face, or whatever. It’s not called Realitybook. And who wants to read Realitybook anyway? I have enough of my own reality, thank you very much. Please let me escape into the allegedly happy lives of my friends and acquaintances.

If you want to have actual, real, deep friendships, Facebook is not the place for it. It can be the place for it, (and many of my friends on FB are Real and honest and awesome and I love them the more for it) but COME ON. If that is what you want, GO MEET YOUR FRIEND IN REAL LIFE. You know, at a restaurant or bar or house or cafe or wherever people who don’t have to constantly tow around small children congregate and enjoy scintillating, interruption-free conversation. Facebook is NOT that venue so get the fuck over it.

Too harsh?